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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Celebrate Black History Month in Tucson


The first ever Making Black History Market is happening at Tucson Hop Shop from 12-5 p.m. on Feb. 19. The market will feature local vendors, fresh food and live music. (Courtesy Sharly Scannell)

February is Black History Month and there are lots of ways at the University of Arizona and around Tucson to celebrate Black history and culture. Here are a few highlights coming up this month:

Feb. 19: Making Black History Market

On Feb. 19, the first Making Black History Market is happening at Tucson Hop Shop from 12-5 p.m. This event was created by local vendors Sharly Scannell, Hailey Dukart and Cyn McManus. 

Scannell is the owner and creator of Clever Stitches, where she sells hand-made crocheted products. She recently graduated from the UA with a degree in Africana Studies and spoke about the importance of bringing Black businesses together and uplifting other members of the community.

“I just want to take that torch now and give Black entrepreneurs and business owners a platform, because it is historically and currently harder for us to get funding and to get resources,” Scannell said.

The event has 17 vendors booked, with Off the Hook Seafood providing food and Freddy “Jay” Walker playing live music. 

“Not only do I want this market to be something where people can bring their families and learn about Black history, but they can actually contribute their dollars to local Black vendors,” Scannell said.  

Some of the proceeds from the event will support I Am You 360, a local nonprofit that provides housing for former foster youth and helps tackle the root causes of homelessness in Tucson. 

Dukart is the artist behind Lil Desert Doodles and McManus runs Lilith and Daughters, a jewelry shop. Together with Scannell, they’ve been planning this event over the past month, and they aren’t stopping there. 

“We’re already planning for the next one next year,” Dukart said.  

Feb. 10 & 28: Tucson Humanities Festival Black History Month Events

As part of the Tucson Humanities Festival spring series, the UA College of Humanities and Department of Africana Studies are hosting several Black History Month events. This series began on Feb. 7, with the Black History Month Kick-Off Open House at the Student Union Memorial Center, but there are still plenty more events to enjoy.

On Feb. 10, the Hanson FilmTV Institute is presenting a screening of Khadifa Wong’s “Uprooted” in partnership with the School of Dance and the Department of Africana Studies. “Uprooted” explores the “history, lineage, and future progressions of jazz dance” and “addresses topics such as appropriation, racism, socialism and sexism.”

The screening is at 7 p.m. at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre and admission is free. Following the film, there will be a Q&A with three film team members.

On Feb. 28, audiences can attend a talk by Pamela Mays McDonald, titled “Social Art-ivism: Black Panther Culture, From Oakland to the World.” Mays McDonald has held positions at several art museums and worked as a community activist. Her talk will be at 6:30 p.m. at the UA Poetry Center. 

Feb. 17 & 25: Arizona Athletics

Arizona Athletics is celebrating Black History Month all month long, with a commitment to “feature numerous events and recognitions throughout February that help promote history, belonging, and unity.” 

They will be recognizing the achievements of student-athletes and community members at this month’s men’s basketball games, promoting Black history on social media and distributing Black History Month apparel to all student-athletes. 

At the women’s basketball game on Feb. 17 and the men’s basketball game on Feb. 25, the halftime show will feature a performance by local Black-owned dance studio Movement Culture.  

Feb. 14: Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon

The life of American abolitionist, social reformer, orator, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass is celebrated each year on Feb. 14. In honor of his life and work, participants around the country join for a simultaneous event to transcribe the works of Black scholars and thinkers, and the UA is taking part.

This year, the figure whose works will be transcribed is Mary Ann Shadd Cary, who was the first Black woman publisher in North America and the second Black woman to attend law school in the U.S. 

Participants are invited to stop by the Main Library any time from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Feb. 14 to help preserve her works for future generations. Read more about the event on the UA University Libraries website.

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